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Ecofiling: An Alternative to SharePoint?

It seems that SharePoint is everywhere these days. Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) ships free with Windows Server 2003/2008, and allows IT pros to quickly launch internal websites and corporate intranets. Larger enterprises may upgrade to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) for additional enterprise-class features, but WSS is a fairly capable platform in its own right.

As successful as SharePoint is as a document sharing and collaboration platform, it also may be overkill for many small businesses. WSS makes it very easy to create new SharePoint installations, but managing them can take some effort. Some have found SharePoint cumbersome and complex, while others have expressed concerns that SharePoint is overkill for smaller companies.If you're a small business that wants a single location to share files and documents over the web with employees in disparate locations, WSS may not be the best solution.

That's the premise behind Ecofiling, a web-based document and file sharing service that provides some of the key features that WSS does, but at a reduced cost. Using Ecofiling you can create a shared online workspace for multiple users, then upload files and documents into this central location. You can use the service as your corporate intranet, brand it with your own corporate logo and color scheme, and add real-time input from RSS and Twitter feeds. The service is free for up to two users; pricing for three or more users is $3 per user per month, with up to 1GB of storage per user.

The Ecofiling dashboard

As an aside, Microsoft does offer a roughly similar set of features with their Office Live Workspace and Office Live Small Business services, but the former is focused on sharing Office documents, and the latter is primarily oriented towards small businesses needing a web presence.

Our first impressions? Ecofiling may not be the best solution for a shop looking for closer integration with AD, or an organization that has lots of corporate governance laws to attend to. That said, smaller organizations looking for a web-based solution for just a handful of employees may find a lot to like with Ecofiling. We'll have a full review of Ecofiling posted shortly.

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